Jeremy wants Sidmouth College to be number one!

HIS former school was labelled outstanding by Ofsted and there seems little doubt new head Jeremy Roberts intends to set Sidmouth College on the same tracks.

HIS former school was labelled 'outstanding' by Ofsted and there seems little doubt new head Jeremy Roberts intends to set Sidmouth College on the same tracks.

After his five years in charge, Uffculme School was described as the highest achieving comprehensive in Devon.

Now he has described a positive feeling of optimism about Sidmouth College.

He said: "I am settling in really well and thanks to all who have been in touch with calls and cards of best wishes. It is lovely to feel that support as I come into post."

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Mr Roberts, who lives in Sidmouth, paid tribute to Mr Birch and the college staff for producing the school's best ever GCSE results, with 72 per cent gaining five A* to C grades, putting the college in the county's top 10 per cent.

"We are well on the way to the target I have of making Sidmouth College one of the best schools in the country, let alone the county," he said.

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When the Herald first spoke to Mr Roberts, the father of three former Sidmouth College pupils - one of whom, Joe, was head boy - he described his delight at being selected as its new principal.

He said: "I have had a long association with the college. I know it's got some amazing strengths already and I think there are some other things I can help it with and bring new things to it.

"Sidmouth really deserves an outstanding school.

"The most important thing is to give young people life chances and the best way to have life chances is to leave with the best qualifications you can get.

"My initial focus will be on levels of attainment, particularly contextual value added, a way of judging progress from the time children come into the school to when they go out."

First he will focus on making sure every pupil makes a good level of progress, whatever their level of ability.

"I am a passionate advocate of comprehensive education and I think it works best when a school is able to focus not on groups of children, but at the individual needs of youngsters, and then developing programmes that meet those needs and help youngsters to be as successful as they possibly can.

"One of the big issues for us in this part of world is that so many of our talented young people have no option but to leave the area for training and further education and then it is very difficult for them to come back because the jobs are just not there to come back to.

"I would want to make sure we are equipping them not just for life in lovely Devon but preparing them to walk on the world stage.

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